What an important time it is in our Profession
Crossing the mid-point of my term as OBA President, I reflect on what an important time it is for our profession. With discussions about Alternative Business Structures and the future delivery of legal services in Canada, an active legislative session and new generation of Convocation benchers soon to be voted in, I am struck by the breadth of talent and skill within the OBA’s membership.
The OBA consists of industry leaders who guide the association’s work, building its reputation as a thought leader, and who are demonstrably committed to a profession that serves the public well. They are involved and dedicated and their areas of expertise constantly impress.
In fact, in this edition of JUST., you can read OBA members Jason Katz and Nga Dang’s resourceful consideration of chronic pain and some of the legal challenges connected to cases that deal with it in Making Pain Visible. OBA member Bobbi Olsen contributes to the practical column The Diner Brief, developed by members of our Family Law Section to provide reviews of dining establishments close to courthouses across Ontario.
OBA members support and celebrate one another. And due in no small part to its impressive, and expansive, membership base, the OBA has become an association entrenched in excellence, leadership and influence, which is leading to many successes for its members.
As a leader of a coalition of legal organizations, the OBA has been able to successfully advocate for changes to civil process to assist in remedying delay for long trials and motions. An OBA Working Group was also successful in getting a legislative amendment introduced and passed to correct what is known as the Carrigan Case.
With an established Task Force for consulting members on the topic of Alternative Business Structures, the OBA is well poised to reconcile its role as a public policy leader, the voice of the profession and protectors of the interests of lawyers. The work of this group and its consultations with members will help inform future ABS considerations by regulators and other authorities.
Responding to and advancing the profession are activities the OBA and its members do well. They recognize the niche areas of law and tackle evolving opportunities to ensure the profession grows alongside the needs of the clients we serve.
To illustrate this point, the OBA Board of Directors recently approved the creation of a new Children and Youth Law Section. This Section is engaging members from a variety of practice areas, who deal with issues involving youth and Children in their daily activities, to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to do what they do as effectively as possible.
An OBA membership, no doubt, says a lot about a lawyer’s commitment to the profession. That is likely why there are so many OBA members running in the Law Society’s 2015 Bencher Elections. The OBA is proud to support these members.
As I noted at the outset, it is an important time for our profession, and I believe the OBA members running for Bencher, based on their experiences and demonstrated commitment to a profession that serves the public well, are well positioned to guide and shape Ontario’s legal landscape in the years ahead.
The benefit of an OBA membership is that the association is there to guide the profession every step of the way. It is exciting work, and I am honoured to be a part of it and to serve as your OBA President.
Orlando Da Silva, LSM